Means and motive
May 20, 2018 11:14 AM   Subscribe

 


There was a nice tweet-thread on this, but the majority of the content is in screenshot images, so I can only link it here.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 11:25 AM on May 20 [4 favorites]




We're going to start seeing a lot of gun control laws over the next decade, I think. When white republicans see their kids as at risk, that slowly but surely starts to win out against all the magical thinking regarding guns we have baked into white American culture.
posted by MillMan at 11:39 AM on May 20 [5 favorites]


I hope you're right, but I see no signs of that from Republicans. I see only further entrenchment, and use of any broached gun control measures as an attack on their identity.

I do expect to see some gun control laws, but only because these kids are going to be voting in 2018, 2020 and beyond. There are a lot of them, and they are tired of the previous generations' bullshit.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 11:44 AM on May 20 [42 favorites]


As I alluded to over in the most recent megathread, Santa Fe is essentially a neighborhood away from where I live.

ATM, I don't have any particular special insight, but I am more than happy to share my knowledge of the area with anyone or if any cliches, prejudices, etc. start bubbling up.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 11:45 AM on May 20 [7 favorites]


Also, because this utter dipshit is everywhere right now and every MRA/incel shooter type no doubt hangs off his every word: Jordan Peterson believes 'enforced monogamy' will stop men committing violent crimes
posted by Artw at 11:46 AM on May 20 [34 favorites]


The Brennan Center has a series of arguments why the Constitution is not a bar to sensible gun regulation and they've been getting as much press as they can for the arguments (here's one). I both understand their arguments and their rationale for taking this track in gun control advocacy but I'm no longer sympathetic to it.

I don't know how the people I love stomach sending their children to school every day. And I can't internalize that I live in a place so fucked up that this is an actual emotion I have for perfectly rational reasons.
posted by crush at 11:51 AM on May 20 [4 favorites]


I see only further entrenchment

From the politicians, yes. From the public, no. Eventually that gap becomes an electoral problem. The pro-gun hysteria itself will only get worse, of course, as gun control bills get written, debated, and passed, as our current media environment amplifies the most radical viewpoints.
posted by MillMan at 11:57 AM on May 20 [3 favorites]


> I hope you're right, but I see no signs of that from Republicans. I see only further entrenchment, and use of any broached gun control measures as an attack on their identity.

Republicans are perfectly happy to sit back and allow the violence, and corresponding militarization of school campuses, to make public education so frightening and intimidating that the electorate becomes amenable to dismantling and privatizing it. It's not just about gun control.
posted by at by at 11:59 AM on May 20 [79 favorites]


The best idea I've seen is a general school strike starting in September. Just don't send your kid to school until you feel it's safe to do so. I mean, yeah, enormously inconvenient, but jesus.
posted by seanmpuckett at 12:02 PM on May 20 [15 favorites]


Republicans are perfectly happy to sit back and allow the violence, and corresponding militarization of school campuses, to make public education so frightening and intimidating that the electorate becomes amenable to dismantling and privatizing it. It's not just about gun control.

I feel like this is a bit conspiratorial.

I'll take most Republican politicians at their words -- they would love to stop the violence. But only on their own terms. What they aren't willing to do is sacrifice one of their golden calves, even for the sake of their children's lives.
posted by steady-state strawberry at 12:04 PM on May 20 [6 favorites]




to make public education so frightening and intimidating that the electorate becomes amenable to dismantling and privatizing it.

There was an article that leads right to this sort of thing.
[TheHill] Obama Education secretary: Pull children out of schools until gun laws change
Former Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Friday that it was "tragically necessary" for parents to pull their children out of school en masse until U.S. gun laws are changed.

In a tweet, the former Obama administration official asked what would happen if no children went to school until "gun laws changed to keep them safe."
Which sounds nice, doesn't it? Everyone goes on strike from the public education system and we'll have to do something to make it safer, right? Except that I can only see the current administration using that as an excuse to roll up the entire concept of public education and let it blow away in the wind.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 12:04 PM on May 20 [45 favorites]


Well, enforced monogamy would probably result in directing more violence toward wives and girlfriends rather than bystanders. In Peterson's view, those would be property crimes.
posted by Ralston McTodd at 12:07 PM on May 20 [26 favorites]


I suspect more misogyny as a solution for the toxic intersection of guns and misogyny would not actually work, no. Suspect “less misogyny” or “less guns” might be angles to look at.
posted by Artw at 12:10 PM on May 20 [47 favorites]


I wonder, every single time a school shooting happens, how many more we just barely avoid because the signs and the threats were reported (and most importantly, people listened to the reports and responded appropriately) before something catastrophic happened.

I live in a small town in the mountains with a year-round population of somewhere between 3-4k people, and we recently had a student terrorist threat that resulted in the local schools being shut down and a high school student arrested, which seems like it was going to percolate into another tragedy, given the weapons they found and the nature of what the kid was saying to others.

The local reaction was: yes, even here. It really does seem like this could happen anywhere, and the only reason we're not seeing more of them is because sometimes, by chance, someone listens to the reports and takes action instead of brushing it off.

I don't have kids yet, but my heart aches for the parents who are grappling with the decision to continue to send their kids to school. I can't imagine what this social climate and these events are doing to the kids who are going to become part of our voting body of citizens in a few short years.
posted by Snacks at 12:13 PM on May 20 [9 favorites]


From across the Atlantic, it seems as if the Second Amendment is the USA's Moloch that the nation is all too willing to sacrifice its children to.
posted by bouvin at 12:22 PM on May 20 [38 favorites]


The thing that gets me about the too many entrances and exits thing is, it's literally responding to calls for gun control by telling people to die in a fire.
posted by ckape at 12:25 PM on May 20 [116 favorites]


>I don't know how the people I love stomach sending their children to school every day. And I can't internalize that I live in a place so fucked up that this is an actual emotion I have for perfectly rational reasons.
>I don't have kids yet, but my heart aches for the parents who are grappling with the decision to continue to send their kids to school.


I understand this sentiment but it is not entirely rational. There are over 98,000 K-12 schools in the U.S. and only a tiny percentage of them have been subject to shootings. Meanwhile, there are about 140 fatalities and 85,000 injuries due to school bus accidents each year. It is much more dangerous putting your child on a school bus than sending them through the doors of a school.

I understand the concern, but over-hyping the danger plays into the hands of the right-wing. They want you to be terrorized because it serves their agenda of fear. This leads to things like metal detectors and searches at all the doors, armed police roaming the hallway, teachers with guns, lock down drills and all the other things that transform schools into walled military fortresses. This is a terrible thing to do to schools.

Yes we need to fight for gun control, but we don't need to fall for the terrorist threats.
posted by JackFlash at 12:32 PM on May 20 [21 favorites]


i think the wheels are coming off the school bus - i don't know where we've gotten so many malcontent youth from, why they're so angry, and why they want to commit, or threaten to commit acts of violence - yes, a good part of it is misogyny, but that's not the whole story - some of it may be due to right wing extremism, but again, that's not the whole story - we had both when i was growing up in the 60s and 70s, not to mention an even more toxic student culture, and yet kids weren't shooting up their schools like they are now - even if they had access to firearms

the only thing i can come up with is that somehow some of us have gotten into the notion that oppression or perceived oppression can be a justification for all kinds of violent acts - something that our entertainment industries have been hitting us with for decades - or perhaps that these days, when it comes to rebellion against the world, there isn't a lot of slack left for people to walk away or find ways to nonconform - you either grit your teeth and go along with it or you lash out

maybe the current high school generation are a bunch of nihilists who've been given no reason not to be nihilists

as bad as the problem of school shootings is, it's a symptom of a much more dangerous disease - gun control will certainly cut down on the casualties but it's not a cure for what's wrong with us

and something is very wrong with us
posted by pyramid termite at 12:35 PM on May 20 [19 favorites]


oh, and jordan peterson is right - witches do exist, i've met several of them

dragons, however ...
posted by pyramid termite at 12:38 PM on May 20


There’s the theory that his swamp witches come from Minecraft , which makes some sense given the audience he’s selling this toxic stew to: I think gamer/Chan/YouTube culture is a string vector for a lot of what you are seeing. And I think your right that there’s a problem brewing there, though maybe a little wrong about the urgency of taking guns away from the problem - it doesn’t fix it on an individual level, but it stops those individuals amassing a body count.
posted by Artw at 12:45 PM on May 20 [3 favorites]


I'm ok with the idea that gun control won't save everyone. Neither does mandating that cars have seat belts. But both unequivocally save lots of lives and are worth doing.
posted by emjaybee at 12:53 PM on May 20 [41 favorites]


The GOP doesn’t care about mass shootings because they are trying to kill public education in the US. The shooters are the living embodiment of their policies.

Anything to move the needle towards shutting down the public school system. Just like the tax cut is just an excuse to dismantle the government. White Christian nationalism is what binds the GOP these days, and it worries the shit out of me.
posted by Big Al 8000 at 12:54 PM on May 20 [32 favorites]


Plus the GOP is engaged in a generational war against young people - they are not going to care about something that harms their enemies.
posted by Artw at 12:57 PM on May 20 [7 favorites]


JackFlash: I understand the concern, but over-hyping the danger plays into the hands of the right-wing.

I don't feel terrorized by the right, my feeling has little to do with the statistical likelihood of another one happening (but expecting that one will, since nothing has been done). It's not about my hypothetical kids personally, it's about what we can do for the sake of someone else's. If nothing is changing and no congressional action has been taken, and protesting, writing letters, making phone calls isn't moving the needle either, I agree with the former Sec of Education about pulling kids out of school in protest until something changes.

But taking your kids out of school is (I imagine) hugely disruptive for families. I honestly don't know how else one can peacefully escalate speaking out about gun violence in a way that doesn't make the family bear the brunt of that protest.

So what else is to be done to peacefully protest in a way that would affect the people who can make change happen, without (as other people above have pointed out) playing into the hands of people who want to destroy the public education system?
posted by Snacks at 1:03 PM on May 20 [2 favorites]


I have read that the shooter in Santa Fe HS was turned down multiple times by a girl. She was among the 10 dead. I read that nobody liked him. In Texas it gets very hot. He was walking around in a black trench coat even in the hot weather. Adolescent boys can smell funky because of all the new hormones. This actually is repellent to girls. Some nice person should have sat him down and said he needed to bathe more often, not wear black trench coats in 100°F + heat, and find subjects of discussion other than guns. Most girls are not that interested in guns. I actually went shooting regularly with my step-dad and enjoyed it, but guns were not a primary interest in my life.
I think the fact the girl finally did something public about the stalking and harassment should tell us that no one at the school listened if or when she did discuss this with someone at the school. Possibly they ignored her parents as well.
The shooter’s parents say he was a sweet, good kid. Maybe he was good at sliding by at home. Maybe they were in denial about him. Nearly all the kids I’ve known who did bad stuff had parents who were in denial about their little angels. Goes for girls and double for boys in my experience.
Good parents know that any kid can do bad stuff and they are ready to address it. Whether it means closer supervision and discipline or counseling, a competent parent is not in denial.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 1:07 PM on May 20 [14 favorites]


So what else is to be done to peacefully protest in a way that would affect the people who can make change happen

I have no problem with pulling kids out of school in protest against the gun lobby. Anything that will get the attention of the feckless politicians is useful.

What I object to is the sentiment that schools are so unsafe that you can't imagine anyone sending their kids to school. Those were the statements I was referring to. That kind of fallacy can lead to terrible consequences in the militarization of schools, the same over-hyping about the danger of policing that led to the militarization of the police.
posted by JackFlash at 1:12 PM on May 20 [7 favorites]


There are lots of different ways to protest. Moms Demand Gun Sense are quite effective. Student-led protests. Teachers going on strike. There is no reason to stick to one strategy. Ultimately the goal is to create pressure that politicians can't ignore. Every shooting radicalizes more kids, parents, teachers and others to act.

Boycotting school might be one: personally I'd rather see a teach-in type protest in which the schools were occupied by those demanding change and refusing to cede ground, or have normal classes, till they got it. The kids are there but spend their time advocating with their teachers and calling legislators rather than just the usual curriculum.
posted by emjaybee at 1:15 PM on May 20 [8 favorites]


@adigoesswimming: My teenage nephew told me he asked a girl out and she turned him down. I said, "You know what to do now, right?" He said, "I know I know keep trying" and I said "NO. LEAVE HER ALONE. She gave you an answer." He was shocked. NO ONE had told him that before. TEACH. YOUR. BOYS.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 1:19 PM on May 20 [197 favorites]


it seems as if the Second Amendment is the USA's Moloch that the nation is all too willing to sacrifice its children to.

There's a a poem by Jo Walton that goes into much the same effect.
posted by steady-state strawberry at 1:36 PM on May 20 [8 favorites]


Pretty sure the emotion I'm feeling is not "fear because our schools are so unsafe that I cannot imagine anyone sending their children to them" but you know it's only my own emotion so why would I know what it was?

There has been one school shooting every week this year . what I feel is not fear because schools are inherently dangerous places what I feel is an inability to understand the faith it takes to send your child to a school in a country that has regular mass shootings at school and has yet to do a thing about it.

We know what stops gun violence. Removal of guns from society at large stops gun violence. regulating who can get what kinds of guns when and barring everyone from getting certain kinds of guns ever reduces gun violence Taking domestic violence, relationship violence and family violence seriously reduces gun violence.. We don't do those things. And children continue to die at school.

That is so fucked up that I cannot imagine the level of faith it takes to send your kid to school. Where they going to have to practice gun drills, where they're going to have to have their bags and their persons searched for no good reason, going to learn to recognize every time it happens again that the people in charge of creating a safe world for them don't care to.

I recently saw on Twitter "I scream; you scream; we all scream . . . all of the time this is life now." that is the emotion I am feeling and that is the one that I find it so difficult to imagine how you send your child to school while you are feeling.
posted by crush at 1:54 PM on May 20 [19 favorites]


Jordan Peterson believes 'enforced monogamy' will stop men committing violent crimes

Even if it wasn't a morally bankrupt idea, that's not even how it works, is it? When the government says that it's okay to force a group of people to do something, that doesn't reduce the amount of violence against them, does it? Like... do lynchings go down when slavery is legal? Is less acid thrown in girls' faces when the government says they're not allowed to go to school? Is marital rape less common when women are forced into marriage?
posted by clawsoon at 1:56 PM on May 20 [18 favorites]


More from @holden:

1/ This is really good but fails to grapple with a more disturbing reality: Christian nationalism has guns at the center of it because it's a way to signal they will violently resist any democratic change that doesn't have white Christians at the center
@LandonSchnabel
After Parkland, we started studying why some people aren't open to considering gun control. We found Christian nationalism is key.…
2/ IOW, it's not that God founded the US and therefore wrote the 2nd amendment. They don't much about the other amendments.
3/ It's that God founded this country for Christians and gave them the second amendment to fight if anyone tried to take it away from Christians by exercising their vote. That's why all this nuttery starts in the 90s when the white Christian population begins to sense it's decline.
4/ Not all Christians, etc. But for those that gravitated to Christian *nationalism* in the past three decades I do think the evidence is pretty clear that guns are meant to be a check on the popular vote.
5/ And I don't think the Christian Nationalists are going to revolt with guns, BTW. I think its primarily a potent symbol that a minority white nation can rule through force and control of law enforcement and the military, though authoritarian politics.
6/ So when white women or men with Christian nationalist backgrounds pose with guns at graduation it's a powerful symbol to their culture: the next generation will keep this country safe from the new majorities that conspire to take it away from the Christians God gave it to.
7/ And when people who worship the military say they need guns to "protect them from the government" it doesn't make *any* sense at all until you realize by "government" they mean the popular vote.
8/ This is why someone boycotting a football game on Sunday because "the troops" can talk about "needing guns to protect them from government power" on Monday.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 2:28 PM on May 20 [80 favorites]


So it’s absolutely their sacrifice they make to Moloch.
posted by Artw at 2:37 PM on May 20 [11 favorites]


Honestly, I think that part of the "why discontented white boys murder their peers by mass shooting" is the fame, and if I had authoritarian powers, I'd take down all the tumblr mass shooter fan pages, etc. It's this whole edgelord-ish thing to think - or really, pretend to think, a pretense that would crumble if people actually came close to real mass violence - that school shooters are so glamorous and right-on and so on.

Punk rock edgelord types were super into mass murderers and serial killers and so on when I was a young person - it was so dark! - but that all had to happen via fanzine. There was no way to fantasize about killing people and acquiring an adoring audience (and there are plenty of teenage girls who are super into, eg, the Columbine shooting) because news was disseminated differently.

I think a big piece of this is internet contagion, and TBH I think that's why a lot of these kids don't actually kill themselves - they really are in it for the fame and the drama.
posted by Frowner at 3:10 PM on May 20 [14 favorites]


i think the wheels are coming off the school bus - i don't know where we've gotten so many malcontent youth from, why they're so angry
I have to push back on this. Literally everything is better than it used to be for everyone - other than white men. Everything is better for white guys too, but we're having a hard time losing the lead.

Unless you meant "the wheels are coming off the white patriarchy." Because, yes, that is what has been slowly happening since the 60s. Violent crime is down, hate crimes are down, GLBTQ rights are up, inner city murder rates are down.

I'm just trying to put this all in perspective. School shootings are an awful, awful thing. And a uniquely American thing. And a problem easily solved with common fucking sense gun laws.

But things are getting better. The wheels are not coming off the school bus, it's just that the road is full of bumps and turbulence. School shootings are new form of turbulence, likely perpetuated by mainstream media, but society is getting (slowly) better. The kids are alright.
posted by weed donkey at 3:12 PM on May 20 [18 favorites]


As I said in the megathread:

Misogyny is basically a precursor to all white male violence at this point. Like how they used to say psychopaths would torture small animals? Except we care more about small animals than women and girls so I doubt anyone will care enough about toxic masculinity for it to become an official red flag.
posted by supercrayon at 3:41 PM on May 20 [37 favorites]


I do wonder sometimes how zero tolerance displine in schools that started pretty much when these teenagers started school and the number of school shootings today has any connection. We haven't given kids wiggle room with learning how to deal with aggression, when fantasy is punished as reality (the knife for cake being classified weapon as an example), or 'pew pew' being treated as a legitimate threat.

I wonder if that exposure makes kids see less difference in perpetuating actual violence when you know kids arrested for fake threats or meaningless guestures.

Obviously this is conjecture. There are so many variables, and privilege is a huge one.
posted by AlexiaSky at 3:42 PM on May 20 [9 favorites]


The “too many entrances” thing is ridiculous on its face, given that, while most schools do indeed have multiple entrances/exits, all but the main entrance are usually locked to anyone trying to enter from the outside. They generally have crash-bars on the inside for emergency exits.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:24 PM on May 20 [6 favorites]


Jordan Peterson believes 'enforced monogamy' will stop men committing violent crimes

I don’t even give a fuck if he is right or wrong, it is not worth it. Women are free now not to tie themselves to train wrecks and that is a glorious thing. There have been female spinsters for years and years and they do not resort to violence. The fact that young men are angry enough that they can’t own women to want to kill them is not the fault of the women not submitting enough to their ownership.

Men, come get your boys.
posted by corb at 4:48 PM on May 20 [75 favorites]


I have to push back on this. Literally everything is better than it used to be for everyone - other than white men.

here's the thing, though - my area's schools has seen over 10 different instances of threats - someone scrawling on the wall, or making a post on the net, or telling someone they're going to do something

it's happening much more than it used to and is becoming a real problem - in fact, it's becoming part of high school culture - it's becoming normalized

also from heroin overdoses, to signs of a faltering economy, to a general decline in civility and most of all, the utter debased corruption of our current awful government, i'm not so sure things are getting better
posted by pyramid termite at 4:55 PM on May 20 [8 favorites]


it's becoming part of high school culture - it's becoming normalized

Of course it is! They do active shooter drills constantly! This is not the same as when we were kids and were doing "Duck and Cover" nuclear war (or later, "tornado") drills. That was the Russians; a faceless other.

No, Active Shooter drills are drills on what to do when that kid -- and face it, every school has one, and everyone knows who that kid is -- goes off and starts shooting.

It's not a faceless other, it's your peer. So, everyone is training for that kid; except maybe that kid if he is prescient enough to realize it's him. (i think it's fair to lock that pronoun in here)
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 5:21 PM on May 20 [16 favorites]


The fact that young men are angry enough that they can’t own women to want to kill them is not the fault of the women not submitting enough to their ownership.

I completely agree. For some time now I have wished we would put less attention on the perpetrators and hateful people, not just people who commit mass shootings, but also extremists in general. In some ways that is starting to happen (the reporter on NPR the other morning basically apologized for using the shooter's name even once), but mostly the momentum is entirely in the wrong direction, like with the NY Times and the Atlantic hiring super gross people as commentators for "balance."

Right now we are rewarding extremism and hate with attention, and normalizing things that should not be considered even remotely acceptable.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:34 PM on May 20 [14 favorites]


> I hope you're right, but I see no signs of that from Republicans. I see only further entrenchment, and use of any broached gun control measures as an attack on their identity.

> Republicans are perfectly happy to sit back and allow the violence, and corresponding militarization of school campuses, to make public education so frightening and intimidating that the electorate becomes amenable to dismantling and privatizing it. It's not just about gun control.

They would like to dismantle the public school system. This is related to the child labor laws they keep trying to weaken -- students who won't have the $ to attend private (religious, charter, whatever) schools will be made to account for their days and earn their keep. Watch as these jobs are re-branded as "apprenticeships" (sketchy conditions, pittance pay, but opportunities to learn a lifelong trade).
posted by Iris Gambol at 7:03 PM on May 20 [9 favorites]


Jordan Peterson believes 'enforced monogamy' will stop men committing violent crimes

Jordan Peterson doesn't believe that women are people whose well-being matters. He believes that women are resources that have been taken away. This is how he can seriously suggest that increasing violence against women (because that's what enforced monogamy would necessarily do) will somehow reduce violence.

I am so pissed off right now at the fact that this garbage fire of a man both exists and has a following of little garbage fires. It's so sick.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 8:07 PM on May 20 [33 favorites]


Right now we are rewarding extremism and hate with attention, and normalizing things that should not be considered even remotely acceptable.

I think this is the reason why America is seeing a lot more of these: it's become normalised, due to heroic effort on the part of the media to take advantage, and horrific inaction on the part of American government and society.

Sandy Hook was the last opportunity America had to really cause a clean break, and it didn't happen. Any change that's going to happen now is going to have to involve long-term cultural change.

Jordan Peterson doesn't believe that women are people whose well-being matters. He believes that women are resources that have been taken away.

To be fair to Jordan Peterson, trying to parse what he actually believes is very difficult from his public comments, because he's very good at implying that he's saying something without actually committing to it.

Yes, suggesting he doesn't actually have anything of substance to say is what counts as being fair to Jordan Peterson.
posted by Merus at 8:14 PM on May 20 [3 favorites]


Kyle Griffin:
Kelly Clarkson says she’s done with moments of silence. In honor of the victims of the Santa Fe shooting, Clarkson says she wants a moment of action.

Here’s how she opened the Billboard Music Awards tonight. It’s worth a watch.
video
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:28 PM on May 20 [7 favorites]


From across the Atlantic, it seems as if the Second Amendment is the USA's Moloch that the nation is all too willing to sacrifice its children to.

Our Moloch (Garry Wills, New York Review of Books, December 15, 2012, 5:25 pm)
Few crimes are more harshly forbidden in the Old Testament than sacrifice to the god Moloch (for which see Leviticus 18.21, 20.1-5). The sacrifice referred to was of living children consumed in the fires of offering to Moloch. Ever since then, worship of Moloch has been the sign of a deeply degraded culture. Ancient Romans justified the destruction of Carthage by noting that children were sacrificed to Moloch there. Milton represented Moloch as the first pagan god who joined Satan’s war on humankind:
First Moloch, horrid king, besmear’d with blood
Of human sacrifice, and parents’ tears,
Though for the noise of Drums and Timbrels loud
Their children’s cries unheard, that pass’d through fire
To his grim idol. (Paradise Lost 1.392-96)
Read again those lines, with recent images seared into our brains—“besmeared with blood” and “parents’ tears.” They give the real meaning of what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School Friday morning. That horror cannot be blamed just on one unhinged person. It was the sacrifice we as a culture made, and continually make, to our demonic god. We guarantee that crazed man after crazed man will have a flood of killing power readily supplied him. We have to make that offering, out of devotion to our Moloch, our god. The gun is our Moloch. We sacrifice children to him daily—sometimes, as at Sandy Hook, by directly throwing them into the fire-hose of bullets from our protected private killing machines, sometimes by blighting our children’s lives by the death of a parent, a schoolmate, a teacher, a protector. Sometimes this is done by mass killings (eight this year), sometimes by private offerings to the god (thousands this year).
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:38 PM on May 20 [32 favorites]


I totally assume someone's going to get shot one of these days. We get active shooter training for it as well. I accept it because what else is going to happen to stop that? If I were a student, I would too. You can't have any faith that this isn't going to happen to you too.

I don't mind a bit if someone has guns and practices proper gun safety, goes out for target practice, what have you as long as they don't run around shooting people. But since god forbid we not try to distinguish between those two crowds... like god forbid we forbid someone with homicidal mental health issues from getting a gun to kill his girlfriend/wife/wannabe girlfriend and everyone she knows because she wouldn't just fuck him. (Like that's gonna solve a dude rage? I doubt it, say the abused wives who tried.) Gee, I dunno, maybe if we worked together to make it not so easy peasy for shootings to happen we could find a middle ground. But nope and we can't.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:53 PM on May 20 [3 favorites]


Guns are a cultural issue, not a legal or political one. Or rather, the culture has to change before those other things change. The 2nd Amendment, as obnoxious as it is, is in place, it's not going anywhere on a purely political plane.

The culture has to change first. Owning a gun has to go from being something to be proud of to something that's at least a little shameful. The owners themselves must feel this. Once a critical mass of gun owners stops being fetishists, to owners who are a little embarrassed to own a gun (like me), to people who abhor guns entirely. I have no idea how long that will take, or if it will happen at all, but it seems to me that'll be the route, and our legal and political changes will be in step with the change of hearts of the gun owners.
posted by zardoz at 11:11 PM on May 20 [1 favorite]


Second Amendment absolutists are radicalizing mass shooters, I'm sure of it. The longer and more stridently 2A proponents advocate for guns as problem-solving tools, the more common it's going to be for more common problems to be solved with them.
posted by rhizome at 11:13 PM on May 20 [5 favorites]


While we're on the subject of the motive of mass shooters, very quietly 8 months after the fact (and only after legal action by the press) documents were released speaking to the motive of the Las Vegas shooter. You'll never guess what he was ranting about in the days before he committed the deadliest terrorist attack on US soil since 9/11:
[murderer] said that the evacuation of people by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) after Hurricane Katrina was a a “dry run for law enforcement and military to start kickin’ down doors and ... confiscating guns”. [...] “Somebody has to wake up the American public and get them to arm themselves,” the man says [murderer] told him. “Sometimes sacrifices have to be made.”
[...]
She said she heard him and a companion discussing the 25th anniversary of the Ruby Ridge standoff and the Waco siege. [...] She says she heard him and his companion saying that courtroom flags with golden fringes are not real flags.
Don't worry, though. Police are not jumping to any conclusions about his motives.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 11:29 PM on May 20 [26 favorites]


I was in the grocery store yesterday. Prominently displayed in the magazine rack was a Time-Life Special Edition (with "Display until 7/13/18"):

ASSASSINS
KILLERS WHO CHANGED HISTORY

This is surely a lowlight in the history of "you're not helping".
posted by clawsoon at 3:57 AM on May 21 [11 favorites]


At this point, there should be at every airport and at every border crossing large signs declaring: WELCOME TO THE UNITED STATES, IT HAS BEEN [0] DAYS SINCE A SCHOOL SHOOTING.

Jesus. Fucking guns. It sickens me that an archaic fucking amendment is so worth keeping over human life.
posted by Kitteh at 5:17 AM on May 21 [10 favorites]


+1 for a sit-in rather than walk-out. It would:
* allow all families to participate, not just ones that can afford childcare
* not please the conservatives who want to end public education
* not encourage homeschooling, which is highly problematic in its own way
posted by tofu_crouton at 6:33 AM on May 21 [10 favorites]


Speaking of active shooter drills, they're doing those today in most north Texas schools. My kid has already noted that the drills just make it easier for a tactically minded shooter to know where to focus fire. He also mentioned that they've suspended a kid who photographed a gun and made a threat. It was hard to send him to school. If there were not mission critical homework and projects that had to be turned in today for the last day of grading, I would have let him stay home.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 7:06 AM on May 21 [8 favorites]


Here's a depressing summary article in The Atlantic. The Futility of Trying to Prevent More School Shootings in America
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 7:18 AM on May 21 [3 favorites]


That article is interesting, I’d love to see a deeper dive on some of that stuff. Especially this bit:
Caldwell hears this all the time. “Twenty-five years ago,” he says, “if you had insurance, you could probably get the kid put into a psychiatric unit for 30 days for an evaluation and try to get a handle on what's going on. Those beds have just disappeared.”
Why have those beds disappeared? I can’t imagine the need for adolescent inpatient care has gone /down/ over the last 25 years. Are we losing medically necessary interventions because insurance companies don’t want to pay for them? How can we get those possibilities back?posted by corb at 8:12 AM on May 21 [8 favorites]




This is neither here nor there and in the grand scheme of things is pretty selfish (and largely tangential to where the conversation has gone), but one of the reasons I've written off teaching as a job I'd want to go into is because of the constant school shootings.

I've gotten a lot of pushback on this from friends because, you know like, what are the chances? But even if the chances are low I don't think I could handle it and keep my mental health. Not just for myself, but for my students as well.

I don't know, man. I just kind of wish that opinion had been given a little less of a brush-off.
posted by nogoodverybad at 8:51 AM on May 21 [5 favorites]


Corb, the latest data from Kaiser is 2015, but here are inpatient costs by state, for psychiatric facilities. I haven't found a breakdown by just juvenile facilities, but private institutions are the closest, I would venture.

Most insurance policies I can reference, if they include psychiatric, and not all do because it's not mandatory iirc, have a max daily of around 300, which as the numbers show, is about a third of the cost, meaning that someone would have to be able to pay $1,000 or more per day to keep their kid in a controlled environment.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 8:51 AM on May 21 [1 favorite]


I don't know. It probably really does just boil down to greed and capitalism, but this article paints the picture from the angle of patient rights. (i know, right? pesky rights.)

How The Loss Of U.S. Psychiatric Hospitals Led To A Mental Health Crisis
The disappearance of long-term-care facilities and psychiatric beds has escalated over the past decade, sparked by a trend toward deinstitutionalization of psychiatric patients in the 1950s and '60s, says Dominic Sisti, director of the Scattergood Program for Applied Ethics of Behavioral Health Care at the University of Pennsylvania.

"State hospitals began to realize that individuals who were there probably could do well in the community," he tells Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson. "It was well-intended, but what I believe happened over the past 50 years is that there's been such an evaporation of psychiatric therapeutic spaces that now we lack a sufficient number of psychiatric beds."

A concerted effort to grow community-based care options that were less restrictive grew out of the civil rights movement and a series of scandals due to the lack of oversight in psychiatric care, Sisti says. While those efforts have been successful for many, a significant group of people who require structured inpatient care can't get it, often because of funding issues.
So, while that might even be true, i'm pretty sure it largely boils down to that we, as a nation, just don't really give a shit about the mentally ill and wish they would just go off to be homeless and convieniently die in a ditch somewhere.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 8:53 AM on May 21 [10 favorites]


I'm seeing a lot of claims about how things in high school worse now than they used to be, without a lot of evidence to back those claims up. In 1998 I remember a huge brawl breaking out while everyone was getting on their bus to go home. Fights happened all the time. I suspect that if you were able to look at the rate of violent incidents at school that you'd see an overall drop in such incidents just as you've seen a drop in crime in general in the US.

The difference today is that 20 years ago some kids shot up their school in Colorado and the national press made hay out of it and have done ever since. Glorifying school shooters and showing their names and faces over and over again encourages copycats to try to get their name in the news as well. Like with suicide, there are a set of recommendations, based on the best evidence, to minimize harm from reports on school shootings. Given the noxious headlines about the shooter in Santa Fe being "provoked" by being turned down by a classmate, I'd say journalists were not doing a good job at following these guidelines.

This is of course in addition to comprehensive gun law reforms that enforce safety and responsibility in the sale, possession, and transfer of guns.
posted by runcibleshaw at 9:01 AM on May 21 [9 favorites]


The Washington Post's tremendous feature writer Eli Saslow has a story out on a Wyoming teenager advocating for gun control, and against arming teachers, in about the most hostile environment possible. It's terrific.
posted by martin q blank at 9:11 AM on May 21 [8 favorites]


"Twenty-five years ago,” he says, “if you had insurance, you could probably get the kid put into a psychiatric unit for 30 days for an evaluation and try to get a handle on what's going on."

It's hard to tell from an out of context quote, but this is simply not true. Historically health insurance benefits have had little to no support for mental health. There was no golden age in the past where insurance provided good mental health benefits.

The effort to mandate mental health coverage is known as "parity" for mental health and addiction. By parity, they mean that mental health treatments are covered in the same way as other healthcare -- same deductibles, same copays, same limits. Even in plans that provided some mental health benefits back in those days, they were extremely restricted, for example, limiting treatment days and requiring 50% copays. There were much lower limits than for other healthcare.

Some states passed parity laws, but under ERISA, federal law over-rode and exempted companies that self-insure. Since 50% of employees worked for large self-insured companies, they had very poor mental health coverage.

In 1994, the Clinton administration tried to push through a mental health insurance parity law but they were Harry and Louised by Republicans, just as they had been on the previous healthcare bill two years before.

Throughout the early 2000s, Republicans continued to block repeated attempts at a mental health parity bill. Finally in 2008, after Democrats retook control of congress, Nancy Pelosi was largely responsible for pushing through a mental health parity bill by attaching it to Bush's TARP bill.

But this new law only covered ERISA employees. It took the Obamacare law in 2010 to finally extend mental health insurance parity to everyone including those in the non-employee individual insurance market.

So this idea that there was some golden age 30 years ago when anyone could get psychiatric help is nonsense. It has been a long hard fought battle, waged primarily by Democrats to get comprehensive mental health and addiction coverage.
posted by JackFlash at 9:27 AM on May 21 [10 favorites]


I do not believe the rage, entitlement and toxic masculinity that characterises the majority of mass shooters is a recognized mental illness.

Also we’ve these “lone wolves” frequently operated in packs, reinforcing each other’s beliefs and behaviors and working each other up - this makes it a societal problem as much as anything.
posted by Artw at 9:51 AM on May 21 [7 favorites]


So this idea that there was some golden age 30 years ago when anyone could get psychiatric help is nonsense.

The buried lede: "Many times individuals who really do require intensive psychiatric care find themselves homeless or more and more in prison," Sisti says. "Much of our mental health care now for individuals with serious mental illness has been shifted to correctional facilities."

Where once one could be involuntarily committed to a mental institution, now we wait until they've committed some kind of crime and toss them in jail. That "once" was pre 1950 in the US, and the stories about the level of care barely differ from sticking them in prison. We've never really done mental health care.

This is all kind of a tangent, though, because no one has come forward to suggest that "Being a Teenager" is a debilitating mental illness. Back to the topic of school shootings; there's always that kid, and there has always been that weird outcast kid full of adolescent rage and short on long-term thinking. There's just a lot more social reward (of a sort) for gaining attention through mass murder. The social contagion hypothesis (TW: Malcom Gladwell) might well be a factor.

We're apparently unable and/or unwilling to intervene whenever "that weird kid" gets discovered, and even then; kids are awful little beings, and they would instantly weaponize that against their peers, even if we could have some kind of meaningful intervention against depressed and angry, attention-seeking youth.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 9:58 AM on May 21 [3 favorites]


Why have those beds disappeared?

Ronald Reagan intentionally dismantled inpatient mental health care in the US, gutted funding for rehabilitation for the mentally ill, and the for-profit prison system and abusive policing generously took up that burden by incarcerating a disproportionate number of mentally ill people at great cost to the taxpayer and great profit to the oligarch.

Read up on the history of St. Elizabeth's. It began as a progressive vision of treating the mentally ill like full human beings, and it is ending with most former patients either homeless or in jail and the buildings destined to be given over to the Department of Homeland Security, presumably so that they can hurt more people and keep us all less safe. Really heavy-handed irony.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 10:11 AM on May 21 [18 favorites]


Ronald Reagan intentionally dismantled inpatient mental health care in the US

I always thought this was common knowledge but apparently not? It had a huge impact on the homeless population of the ny metro area.
posted by poffin boffin at 10:39 AM on May 21 [6 favorites]


Also we’ve these “lone wolves” frequently operated in packs, reinforcing each other’s beliefs and behaviors and working each other up - this makes it a societal problem as much as anything.

How White American Terrorists Are Radicalized: They're reading the same websites, talking to each other, and killing the same targets. The lone wolves are actually a pack.
These murders, mostly committed by white American men, reveal patterns, but they're not evidence of some kind of single, secret organization dedicated to committing white-supremacist violence. That tends to puzzle people, because our conception of terrorism is linked to Islam and people of color, but also to cell-based groups like al-Qaeda: When we think of terrorism, we look for secret leaders sending out commands and planning operations. That's just not the model in this case, so when these white men kill, the media, elected officials, and law enforcement respond by disavowing connections to terrorism. These disavowals reveal a basic racism surrounding the word "terrorism," although many officials and reporters just want to keep people from panicking.

But maybe it's time to panic a little, or at least understand that these incidents are connected and require an organized response from our politicians, law enforcement, and media. When hundreds of "lone wolves" are reading the same websites, talking to each other, consuming the same stories, picking up easily accessible weapons, and killing the same targets, they have become a pack.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:29 PM on May 21 [12 favorites]


I found this video report from Vice News Tonight to be raw, thoughtful, well-spoken, and totally honest. What A Santa Fe High School Senior Witnessed In The Aftermath Of The Shooting (Vice News Tonight HBO)
posted by hippybear at 8:39 PM on May 21 [1 favorite]


I skimmed through the thread and I didn't see this link, if it's already been shared, I apologize, but it hit me very hard. It's worth a read but a heads up, descriptions of violence, shooting, blood. Despite how triggering this might be, I do think it's worth reading, it's powerful and it puts your life in perspective.

• At Santa Fe High School, my daughter phoned: 'I'm hiding in a closet. I love you, Mom.' [Houston Chronicle]
“Our day started off normal. Isabelle was happy and looking forward to the weekend. I dropped her off about 7 a.m., told her I loved her, to have a good day, and then headed home to get to work.

I got home, walked upstairs and my phone rang. I noticed her name on the screen and figured she forgot something.

As I answer the phone, she is whispering and I can barely understand her. Then I hear her whisper: Mom, they are shooting up the school. I'm hiding in a closet. I love you, Mom.

In the background, I hear gunfire. I beg her to stay on the phone and she says other kids with her want to call their parents and don't have phones. I beg her not to hang up as the call drops. I was frozen, standing there with no idea what to do next ...”
posted by Fizz at 8:41 PM on May 21 [3 favorites]


Fizz: you have no link in that post! :|
posted by hippybear at 8:58 PM on May 21




Here.
posted by Fizz at 9:16 PM on May 21 [2 favorites]


Here is something that I am watching happen in our culture right now.

They aren't even millennials. They are in high school right now. And they know how to live online in a way that nobody else has before them. And they are beginning to document their feeling of insecurity and panic in ways that generations older than them are going to find disarming and unexpected because they know, better than anyone ever before, how to exist in this camera-saturated culture. How to be natural, and how to work with the technology across its production flow.

Keep an eye out for the next while. You'll see this being echoed again and again if you look.
posted by hippybear at 9:23 PM on May 21 [1 favorite]


It's hard to muddy the waters this way but maybe it's not actually inappropriate to put This Is America in with this sort of video?

I feel delicate about suggesting that because I'm a white dude of 50, but I think I'm been pretty sensitive to a lot of stuff across decades not always perfectly but always learning and yeah, maybe a bit it's of a piece and rhymes somehow if not echoes?

posted by hippybear at 9:38 PM on May 21


oh boy:

SANTA FE, Texas — Police responding to shots fired inside Santa Fe High School got locked into a 25-minute gun battle with the gunman, a Texas sheriff said Monday.

Addressing reporters, Galveston County Sheriff Henry Trochesset said that as far as he could tell none of the 10 victims were killed by crossfire from law enforcement officers, but that he won't know for sure until the autopsies are completed.


Initial reports had the kid armed with an AR-15, because of course. Sounds like the body count would have been far higher if he had.
posted by Artw at 7:49 AM on May 22 [1 favorite]


Oh for fuck's sake. Can we get rid of the "good guys with guns" thing, please? The armed cop at the school was shot and almost killed, and the armed cops who showed up may have killed people in a gun battle with the suspect. More guns don't make us safer.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:31 AM on May 22 [5 favorites]


Gun laws in America will never change until shootings occur in state and federal government buildings occupied by lawmakers with the frequency that they do in schools.

This is an observation, not a call to this specific action.
posted by WeekendJen at 9:42 AM on May 22


What Explains U.S. Mass Shootings? International Comparisons Suggest an Answer

SPOILERS: it’s the absolute fuck ton of guns.
posted by Artw at 11:08 AM on May 22 [5 favorites]


Gun laws in America will never change until shootings occur in state and federal government buildings occupied by lawmakers with the frequency that they do in schools.

Gun laws in America will never change until there is consistent pressure from a large number of Americans on their legislators via the ballot box. There is no -- for lack of a better word -- magic bullet. The third ranking member of Congress was shot in broad daylight and nothing happened. The problem isn't that more Republicans weren't on the softball team.
posted by Etrigan at 11:54 AM on May 22 [10 favorites]


I'm a little pessimistic that the ballot box will change anything. A large number of Americans have been going to the ballot box with consistent pressure...to support pro-gun politicians. Some kids in high school are already 18. Columbine was in 1999. That was "my time" so to speak. I also remember Virginia Tech, the Batman movie, and Sandy Hook. Several election cycles since all that (and more) and the pro-gun side has rallied its supporters to the ballot box just as much as the anti-gun side. Their desperate conspiracy theory tragedy actor junk may be showing some cracks in the facade, but I would have thought there would be more anti-gun gains at the ballot box by now.
posted by WeekendJen at 2:18 PM on May 22


the ballot box gave us the current screaming orange prolapse.
posted by poffin boffin at 2:29 PM on May 22 [2 favorites]


The NRA needs to be -- at the very least -- delegitimized, for any real change to occur. They are the hardliners with money that they buy votes (or shitcanned legislation) with.
posted by rhizome at 2:33 PM on May 22








How to Buy a Gun in 15 Countries
Japan:
1. Take a firearm class and pass a written exam, which is held up to three times a year.
2. Get a doctor’s note saying you are mentally fit and do not have a history of drug abuse.
3. Apply for a permit to take firing training, which may take up to a month.
4. Describe in a police interview why you need a gun.
5. Pass a review of your criminal history, gun possession record, employment, involvement with organized crime groups, personal debt and relationships with friends, family and neighbors.
6. Apply for a gunpowder permit.
7. Take a one-day training class and pass a firing test.
8. Obtain a certificate from a gun dealer describing the gun you want.
9. If you want a gun for hunting, apply for a hunting license.
10. Buy a gun safe and an ammunition locker that meet safety regulations.
11. Allow the police to inspect your gun storage.
12. Pass an additional background review.
13. Buy a gun.

United States:
1. Pass an instant background check that considers criminal convictions, domestic violence and immigration status.
2. Buy a gun.
posted by gwint at 6:33 AM on May 24 [4 favorites]


United States:
1. Pass an instant background check that considers criminal convictions, domestic violence and immigration status.
1. Arrange to meet someone who has a gun they want to sell.
2. Buy a gun.

I mean, I like guns and all, but there is no getting around how lax the rules and oversight here actually are. It's embarrassing.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:04 AM on May 24 [5 favorites]






Another day, another school shooting.
Apparently the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a basketball.

Seriously, though, I'm glad that it sounds like everyone is going to be ok, and that teacher is a true hero.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:58 PM on May 25


Oh for fuck's sake. Can we get rid of the "good guys with guns" thing, please?

Unfortunately this is just going to encourage them: Gunman Who Fired Into An Oklahoma City Restaurant Was Shot Dead By 2 Bystanders. Of course, the fact that it _can_ happen obviously doesn't mean it offsets all the deaths that would be prevented by strict/total gun control.
posted by thefoxgod at 5:18 PM on May 25


And on Japan: the practical effects of those laws, of course, is almost no gun ownership (less than 1% of households own a gun, and those are almost entirely shotguns for hunting).

Despite becoming pretty aware of Japan's gun situation the last few years (as I try to sadly explain the US situation to my Japanese wife, who is still having trouble wrapping her head around it), this stat from a BBC article was shocking: "Only six shots were fired by Japanese police nationwide [in 2015]".

I know the US couldn't move from here to there easily, if ever. But even knowing that is possible makes me simultaneously somewhat hopeful and deeply sad (since I don't really expect we will make any significant progress, despite hoping we do...)
posted by thefoxgod at 5:25 PM on May 25 [2 favorites]


Unfortunately this is just going to encourage them: Gunman Who Fired Into An Oklahoma City Restaurant Was Shot Dead By 2 Bystanders.

Note that the "good guys with a gun" didn't actually stop the shooting, just the escape. But yeah, anyone still using that as an excuse to stop firearm regulations is not operating in good faith.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:40 PM on May 25 [1 favorite]




I'm a longtime teacher and have been weighing a few different job offers for next year. After Indiana's shooting, I decided to take a massive pay cut and leave public school because for fuck's sake people, I'm not willing to die for this stupid job. I marched. I spoke with Congress. I rallied, and now I've made my peace with this is not going to stop because

THE PEOPLE WITH THE POWER TO STOP SCHOOL SHOOTINGS DON'T CARE.

It sucks but that's the reality. The government completely fucking ignored school walkouts and the March for our Lives because they don't care. POTUS appointed four people TOTAL in the taskforce after Parkland. FOUR. They've met TWO TIMES SINCE PARKLAND. Friends, the government does not give a shit about this.

I was talking to some teachers and we all think there are only two ways to get this to stop:

1. Every teacher in the US goes on strike (but that will never happen because I'm sure everyone here is aware how remarkably silent the AFT and NEA have been--their union members are being slaughtered weekly and they've done jackshit about it), or;

2. Therapy dogs are brought into public schools because Congress was able to introduce legislation to keep doggos safe 24 hours after one puppy died in an overhead bin. Maybe if dogs get shot, the government will jump over themselves to help.

Kids being shot at school are not considered an issue by our government. Forget being outraged. The people currently serving are doing nothing.

All we can do is watch more kids die weekly, vote out currently ineffectual politicians, and for our own sanity, stop hoping this will get addressed in this current climate. IT WON'T.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 4:26 AM on May 27 [3 favorites]


I want to speak a bit about teenagers and mental health hospitalization and the lack of beds, which is a VERY REAL PROBLEM.

I'm really going to try to be concise and here goes.

When one of my kids was 17, they had a med change from an SSRI to an NSRI and within days became suicidal. The best way to describe it was pure hopelessness; his brain was just saying there was no reason to live, the depths of utter despair were something I cannot even imagine.

He made a plan to kill himself. I took him to Boston's Children's Hospital for an emergency evaluation. He was deemed not safe and then the real nightmare began. He was put in a triage room with a security officer at the door (standard practice for suicide watch), and then I was told there were no beds to put him, and he would stay in the ER until there was, or until he stopped being reporting feeling suicidal and they would send him home.

There were also 3 other kids in the ER with police at their doors, all waiting for beds. There were no beds. Twice a day, different psychiatrists came in and "evaluated" the kids to determine how suicidal they were, because there were ONLY 20 BEDS in Boston Children's Hospital Bader Center and a LONG list of kids at ERs all around New England waiting to get in.

Apparently I was really smart to bring him to Children's because those kids get to cut the line.

A lot of this is a terrible blur, but eventually my kid got a bed and the officer and I escorted him to the Bader Center where we met with intake.

At intake, in front of my suicidal son, the clinician explained that insurance would only keep him until he was no longer actively suicidal, then they were sending him home.

So he was there for a few days and stabilized a bit and on Day 5, as the psychiatrist explained insurance was sending him home the next day, my kid essentially unraveled and bought himself a few more days.

After he had been there about 8 days, they explained insurance was sending him home. Home to what, I asked, and there was no response. There was no followthrough. No treatment plan. Nothing. Just sending him home, and this is at Boston Children's Hospital, considered one of the best pediatric hospitals in the world.

Because I work in this area, I had some ideas about who to call next for day programs, but even then I didn't really know what I was doing. I just knew I had to put a psychiatric plan into place, but most parents don't know that. They just take their sick kid home.

He's better now but we were REALLYREALLY LUCKY that his suicidality came on because of a med change and once stabilized, those thoughts left his head.

But if he had been one of thousands of teens who was suicidal or homicidal because of mental illness, he would have been sent home the second he reported feeling better WITHOUT ANY FOLLOWUP PLAN.

So, this is what happens when kids express suicidal or homicidal thoughts in the medical capital of the US and have a parent who works in the mental health system and knows exactly who to call and what to do in a crisis.

My kid was lucky as hell because he essentially got the very best adolescent mental health service available in America, and at best, it was shit.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 9:15 AM on May 27 [11 favorites]


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